What if I told you that the “7 minute killer core workout”, that includes hundreds of sit ups and crunches; is all sizzle and no steak? These exercises do not replicate the job of our core. The core’s main task is to provide stability to our torso and pelvis. Science has defined core stability as: the ability of passive and active stabilizers in the lumbopelvic region to maintain appropriate trunk and hip posture, balance and control during both static and dynamic movement (Reed 2012). The ability to stabilize the core, allows for increased function of our legs and arms. To understand why this is the case, I just have to ask one simple question, “would you be able to squat more weight on a stable gym floor or on an exercise ball. The answer is easy, the more stable something is, the greater amount of power we are able to generate. (To answer my own question with research, Behm et al. reported a 72% reduction in isometric leg extensor force production when going from stable to unstable conditions)
Bar Positioning is one of the most popular ways to alter the challenges and goals of a squat. The most common squat variations include front and back loaded sqauts. Both are effective at building strength in the Hips, Legs, and back; however the slight variation in weight placement can alter our movement pattern, muscles targeted and the amount of weight we are able to lift.